GLAD TO SEE YOU GO is primarily constructed around the same D-A change which propelled the previous album's LISTEN TO MY HEART (see RAMONES--LISTEN TO MY HEART). This affords a prime opportunity for comparison, and there can no question of the qualitative leap displayed on the new release in terms of sonic power. Also apparent from the onset is that the aggressive tempos have been ratcheted up a notch, and the second LP bursts forth with surprisingly accelerated exhilaration.
Although the lyrics may have been born out of DEEDEE's destructive relationship with his then girlfriend Connie Gripp, the song finally comes off as an ode to the sleazy celebrity acquired by mass murderers. Accepted lore regarding this track states that the song was withheld from radio play in New York due to the empathetic mention of world famous criminal Charles Manson, but as with much of the RAMONES mythology details are sketchy. Did they plan to make this the leadoff single? Did more than one station object? Did the censure of this track later hurt the chances of the 45 that was eventually chosen? (SWALLOW MY PRIDE in the U.S, I REMEMBER YOU in the U.K.) And perhaps most importantly, even if Manson's name was omitted, wouldn't most stations balk at a lyric which featured purposefully loaded firearms, bath tubs full of blood and girlfriends who've gone gone goodbye?
The simplicity of the verse and chorus show the band's growing, tightening chops to good effect. Through sheer muscle the group makes the primitive melody through 1-4-5 compelling, and the improved mix adds an unexpected sheen to the song's pulverizing pulse. JOEY's vocal prominence and production consideration are revelatory-- a little volume, echo and doubletracking really do go a long way. This does have one minor drawback: JOEY seems not quite 100% comfortable with the rhythm of the title line, a problem he had solved by the time IT'S ALIVE was recorded, where he tends towards rushing the anticipated phrasing with greater confidence.
Although marred by their drabbest lyric thus far, the well thought out middle section is an enjoyable bash of a detour, and it unexpectedly careens into a key jump (up a step to E) for the final verse and chorus. Extremely thrilling arrangement touches for a group whose abilities are downplayed as a matter of course-- wherever those boys went when they left home, they have certainly learned a trick or two.
RAMONES GLAD TO SEE YOU GO